Moated site north of Apsley End


Heritage Category:
Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:


© Crown Copyright and database right 2020. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
© British Crown and SeaZone Solutions Limited 2020. All rights reserved. Licence number 102006.006.
Use of this data is subject to Terms and Conditions.

The above map is for quick reference purposes only and may not be to scale. For a copy of the full scale map, please see the attached PDF - 1009586.pdf

The PDF will be generated from our live systems and may take a few minutes to download depending on how busy our servers are. We apologise for this delay.

This copy shows the entry on 26-Oct-2020 at 09:32:47.


The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

Central Bedfordshire (Unitary Authority)
National Grid Reference:
TL 12202 33440

Reasons for Designation

Around 6,000 moated sites are known in England. They consist of wide ditches, often or seasonally water-filled, partly or completely enclosing one or more islands of dry ground on which stood domestic or religious buildings. In some cases the islands were used for horticulture. The majority of moated sites served as prestigious aristocratic and seigneurial residences with the provision of a moat intended as a status symbol rather than a practical military defence. The peak period during which moated sites were built was between about 1250 and 1350 and by far the greatest concentration lies in central and eastern parts of England. However, moated sites were built throughout the medieval period, are widely scattered throughout England and exhibit a high level of diversity in their forms and sizes. They form a significant class of medieval monument and are important for the understanding of the distribution of wealth and status in the countryside. Many examples provide conditions favourable to the survival of organic remains.

The moated site north of Apsley End is a well-preserved example of a small rectangular type with a moat ditch which retains waterlogged silts, from which environmental data may be recovered, and an island that contains evidence in the form of building remains. The monument lies in an area where smaller moated sites are particularly numerous and therefore chronological and social variations between sites may be explored.


The monument includes a medieval moated site situated on low lying ground some 300m north of the crossroads at Apsley End. The moat is rectangular in plan with rounded corners and has external dimensions of 70m north-south by up to 50m east-west. The moat ditch is almost 2m deep and holds standing water. Three arms of the ditch are about 12m wide but the eastern arm is considerably wider because its outer scarp is gently sloping and extends for a further 10m or so to the east. An 8m wide causeway, located at the centre of the eastern arm, gives access to the island which measures about 45m by 18m and is level with the surrounding land. An overflow channel, 5m wide by 0.5m deep, leaves the north-west corner of the moat and extends for about 30m to the north. The channel originally drained into a stream whose extinct course can be observed to the west of the moat. The moat is considered to be the site of a medieval manor house. Buildings survived on the island as late as the 19th century and are depicted on the enclosure map of 1817. Fragments of building stone have been noted in rabbit burrows. The wooden fence which crosses the overflow channel to the north of the moat is excluded from the scheduling although the ground beneath it is included.

MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.


The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number:
Legacy System:


Books and journals
Howlitson, M, Moated Sites Survey, (1980)
Ms. S. Weston, (1991)
P.A.S., Ordnance Survey Record, (1973)
Title: Beds. CRO: MA43 Enclosure map Source Date: 1817 Author: Publisher: Surveyor:


This monument is scheduled under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979 as amended as it appears to the Secretary of State to be of national importance. This entry is a copy, the original is held by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

End of official listing

Your Contributions

Do you know more about this entry?

The following information has been contributed by users volunteering for our Enriching The List project. For small corrections to the List Entry please see our Minor Amendments procedure.

The information and images below are the opinion of the contributor, are not part of the official entry and do not represent the official position of Historic England. We have not checked that the contributions below are factually accurate. Please see our terms and conditions. If you wish to report an issue with a contribution or have a question please email [email protected].